Dhaka, Nov 12 (UNB) – Amid demand from opposition political parties, the Election Commission on Monday deferred the 11th national election to December 30 from December 23.
Different political parties and alliances, particularly Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikyafront and Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Juktafront, had been pushing for delaying the election as they said the election schedule was announced hurriedly.
The Commission published a gazette notification rescheduling the general election in the afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda at the EVM fair in the city announced that the parliamentary elections will be held on December 30 (Sunday).
According to the new reschedule, the deadline for submission of nomination papers is November 28, while that of scrutinizing nomination papers is December 2 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is December 9.
As per the previous schedule announced on November 8 last, the deadline for submission of nomination papers was November 19, while the scrutiny date of nomination papers was November 22 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature was November 29.
On November 3, the Jatiya Oikyafront sent a letter to the Election Commission requesting it not to announce the next general election schedule until the political dialogue was over.
The CEC on November 6 said there was no possibility to delay announcement of election schedule. He, however, said the announcement date could be revised if all political parties agreed to do so.
During the second round of talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her 14-party alliance leaders on November 7, the BNP-led Jatiya Oikyafront called for arranging the 11th national election either at the end of February or in March next dissolving the 10th parliament.
The Oikyafront had been demanding the deferment of the election since the announcement of the election schedules on November 8.
Immediately after the announcement of previous schedule, Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Juktafront in a statement also asked the Election Commission to defer the polls by one week.
BNP, on behalf of 20-party alliance and Jatiya Okiyafront, formally sent a letter to the Election Commission on Sunday last seeking deferment of the polls by one month.
On the same day, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said his party will have no objection if the election schedule is deferred but this should have to be done logically.
Later, on Sunday, the CEC said they would take the decision on Monday whether the schedule for the 11th parliamentary elections will be deferred or not.
The EC give in the demand of Oikyafront partially and that of Juktafront completely rescheduling the election.
The Election Commission has the constitutional obligation to complete the national election by January 28 next.
According to the Article 123 of the Constitution, a general election shall be held, (a) in the case of a dissolution by reason of the expiration of its term, within the period of ninety days preceding such dissolution; and (b) in the case of a dissolution otherwise than by reason of such expiration, within ninety days after such dissolution.
The existing 10th parliament sat in its maiden session on January 29, 2014 after the January-5 general election.
Dhaka, Nov 12 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday warned that their party may review its decision to join the election if the proper atmosphere is not created and the arrest of its leaders and activists does not stop.
“The country lacks the minimum election atmosphere. Our leaders and activists are being arrested continuously,” said the BNP leader.
Talking to reporters while collecting his party’s nomination paper at its Nayapaltan central office, he further said they are repeatedly calling upon the government to stop such acts.
Fakhrul said they decided to join the election as part of their movement for restoring democracy and freeing their chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail based on Oikyafront’s seven-point demand.
He said they want an end to ‘autocratic rule’ and restore democratic norms in the country through the election, he said.
Fakhrul said they will also free several thousand pro-democratic leaders and activists from jail through the election.
He said three nomination forms were collected for their chairperson Khaleda Zia who is now in jail.
Fakhrul said he is also collecting a party nomination paper to contest the election from Thakurgaon-1 constituency.
Dhaka, Nov 12 (UNB) – BNP on Monday formally started selling its nomination papers to those who want to contest the next general election with the party’s election symbol ‘Sheaf of Paddy’.
The sale nomination paper began at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office at 10:45 am with the purchase of two nomination papers for its Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir purchased a nomination form for Khaleda Zia to contest the polls from Feni-1 while BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan collected another form for her for Bogura-6 constituency.
BNP leader Mirza Abbas bought another form for Khaleda Zia to contest the polls from Bogura-7 constituency at 11:25 am.
Besides, Mirza Fakhrul bought another nomination paper for himself for contesting the election from Thakurgaon-1.
The aspirants can collect the party nomination paper from 10 to 4pm on Monday and Tuesday at Tk 5,000 each.
Huge party leaders and activists started gathering in front of the BNP office since morning.
They are staging showdown in favour of their respective party nomination aspirants.
Each nomination hopeful can submit the nomination paper either on Wednesday 10am to 4pm or the same time on Thursday with Tk25,000 as non-refundable deposit.
Earlier in the day, BNP’s two alliances --Jatiya Oikyafront and 20-Praty-- announced to participate in the upcoming 11th parliamentary elections as part of their movement to restore democracy, and demanded the election be deferred by one month.
On Thursday evening, chief election commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda in a televised address to the nation announced the schedule for the next general election.
As per the schedule, the 11th parliamentary elections will be held on December 23 (Sunday) while the last date for submitting nomination papers is November 19, the date for scrutinising nomination papers is November 22 and the last date for the withdrawal of nomination papers is November 29.
Dhaka, Nov 11 (UNB) – Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Sunday said the candidates of the AL-led 14-party alliance will contest the upcoming general election with ‘Boat’, the election symbol of Awami League.
There is every possibility that Awami League will contest the election under the Grand Alliance, he said hinting that AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Juktafront may join the ruling coalition.
Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said this while briefing reporters after a meeting of Awami League Parliamentary Board (ALPB) held at the party central office at Bangabandhu Avenue here with AL President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
“There may be an alliance with Juktafront. But the decision has not taken yet whether they’ll contest the polls with ‘Boat’ or their own symbol. We think they’ll run the polls with their own symbol,” said the AL general secretary.
“The 14-party alliance will contest the election with Boat. The remaining parties will run with their respective symbols,” he said.
The Grand Alliance is comprised of the 14-party alliance and Jatiya Party.
About sharing parliamentary constituencies among the components of the Grand Alliance, Quader said aspirants from other parties of the alliance alongside AL hopefuls will submit nomination papers in the election, but the competent aspirants will be given nomination finally.
“We’ve survey reports in hands. We’ll sit with alliance partners. We’ll select competent candidates through discussions,” he said.
The AL general secretary said the ALPB meeting extended the deadline for its aspirants to submit nomination forms till Monday 6:00pm. The timeframe will not be extended further, he added.
On Friday last, Awami League started distribution of nomination forms among its aspirants and receiving the forms at the AL’s President Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi political office.
Quader said ALPB will take interviews of all the aspirants at 11am on Wednesday next.
In reply to a question over Jatiya Oikyafront’s demand for revising the election schedule, the AL leader said, “If the Election Commission wants, it can extend. We’ll have no objection.”
ALPB members Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim were also present.
On November 8 last, the Election Commission announced the election schedule fixing that the voting will be held on December 23.
As per the schedule, the deadline for submission of nomination papers is November 19 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is November 29.
Dhaka, Nov 11 (UNB) - Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Sunday said they will take the decision on Monday whether the schedule for the 11th parliamentary elections will be deferred or not.
Talking to reporters at Nirbachan Bhaban, the CEC said, “I can’t say anything right now whether the election schedule will be changed or not…I’ll be able to inform about it tomorrow (Monday).”
KM Nurul Huda said, “Different media reported that many parties, including BNP, submitted letters for rescheduling the election but I’m yet to receive the applications.”
The EC certainly wants an inclusive election with the participation of all political parties, he said.
On November 8, the CEC announced that the 11th parliamentary elections will be held on December 23 and the last date for submitting nomination papers is November 19.